Shops for a Pound

The Shops for a Pound scheme in the Picton neighbourhood area of Liverpool is offering 12 shop units for the rent of a pound a week, for up to three years. 

The units are located on Smithdown Road and Earle Road.

Who can apply?

We are seeking expressions of interest from people who would like to run a business in one of these units, who also have a full business plan and the finance in place to carry out any refurbishment work needed on a unit.

Preference will be given to people who live and/or work in Liverpool but people who live outside the city are also welcome to apply.

You must also meet the following criteria:

  • Your proposal must be for the set-up of a new, commercial business.
  • Your business must not duplicate or compete with an existing business in the Picton neighbourhood.
  • Your business must not be a betting shop or gambling establishment, a general fast food takeaway, a tanning salon, off-licence, pub, or a payday loan establishment. We will, however, consider community cafés and healthy takeaways.

Any proposals that are contrary to the aim of creating a healthy and sustainable local community will be rejected.

After the initial agreed period, rents will be set at commercial rate appropriate for the area of Liverpool and size of the unit. 

Your business plan

A good business plan should include:

  • A clear description of your business proposal.
  • CVs of business Directors and key employees (where these are known).
  • A realistic and evidenced market analysis of your business proposal.
  • An analysis of the relevant risks and challenges facing the business and a mitigation strategy to minimise these.
  • A breakdown of expected staffing, the type and level of jobs and the likely start period for those jobs
  • Detailed financial projection for both income and expenditure.

How to apply

The closing date for expressions of interest was Monday 9th May 2016.

We will assess all applications on the criteria above and give preference to those applicants with a business plan that shows the greatest chance of long-term success and sustainability.

What happens next?

If your initial expression of interest is successful, you will be asked to provide more information about you and your business, in June 2016.

Further help and information

If you'd like help developing your business idea, please come to one of our drop-in clinics held at the Business and IP Centre, Liverpool Central Library, 1pm-4pm every Thursday.

Business advice can also be sought from Liverpool Vision, a key delivery partner of the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Hub. Register with Liverpool Vision.

If you would like to know more about the scheme, please email us with your questions at development&


Would companies still have to pay business rates during their occupancy?

You may be eligible for business rate relief if:

  • You benefit from the empty property exemption.
  • Your business operates as a non-profit or charity.
  • Small business rate relief (subject to the rateable value of the property) may apply.

Find out more about business rates.

Does the space have to be used for retail?

No. There are a wide range of other uses, such as office, storage or as a workshop.

After the three years, do we have to stay in the building for a set time?

After the three-year period, each occupant will have a specific term negotiated.

What happens to the building when the company  moves out?

We would expect the occupier to remove their fixtures and fittings.

Can we look inside the shops to get a feel for the works and how much they may cost?

Yes, but only at the next stage of the application process when we have shortlisted. The extent of the works will be agreed with these shortlisted applicants, taking into account the overall property condition, the size of the space and the type of use your business will be making of the property.